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Courts conceptualize and construct the phenomenon of consumer rights violations against older people in different ways. This qualitative analysis of court decisions explores the meanings that Israeli courts have attributed to the fact that the victim was an older consumer. Specific objectives include determining whether existing consumer protections for older consumers are effective, how the relevant provisions of consumer protection law are expressed in application of case law, and how courts structure the issue in their rulings. Analysis has revealed a tension between two judicial approaches: assumption of older consumers as inherently vulnerable and meriting special-class protection, versus application of general consumer protection law attending to actual plaintiffs’ or defendants’ characteristics. Critical reading of the judgments leads to construction and suggestion of a tiered approach to adjudicating consumer protection cases that protects the vulnerable older consumer without falling into a trap of unwarranted ageism.
Ageism is a key challenge to today’s aging societies. “Dialogue with Time” is an original Israeli interactive museum exhibit that aims to change negative ageist attitudes by creating a meaningful and stereotype-breaking encounter between visitors and old age. The objective of this study was to examine whether the exhibition reduces ageist attitudes among its visitors. The study employed a comparative pre-post structure with a comparison group. A closed-answer questionnaire was supplied to 100 participants in the experimental group, visitors to the “Dialogue with Time” exhibit, and to 100 participants in the control group. Participants were asked to complete the questionnaire before entering the exhibits and again after experiencing them. Changes in the level of ageism were measured using the Farboni Scale of Ageism. A significant reduction in ageism attitudes was shown in the experimental group when comparing before and after the visit, t(91) = 11.75, p = 0.001, with a good effect size of Cohen’s d = 0.50, whereas in the control group there was no significant change, t(76) = 0.05, p = 0.95, and a weak effect size of Cohen’s d = 0.00. The findings indicate that combating ageism can also be sustained by means of museum exhibits. We recommend that museums and other similar public institutions (e.g. art galleries, exhibition halls) use public spaces to advance multigenerational exposure to positive images of aging.
Individuals with dementia may appear before the court in different roles: as victims, as witnesses, and as those standing up for their rights. While there is growing interest in the rights of older persons with dementia, relatively little empirical data exists regarding their actual interactions in courts. Therefore, the goal of this study was to empirically map this legal terrain.
This study used a descriptive quantitative method. A computerized search of a national legal database limited to the period 2004–2014 and a screening process for the results were used to establish a sample of 280 court rulings that directly addressed dementia. All cases were analyzed and categorized into the following four criteria groups: characteristics of the person with dementia; characteristics of the legal procedure; the legal substance of the case; and the legal outcome.
The majority of cases involved a single, very-elderly (i.e. over 80 years) woman, living in the community, with unspecified dementia. The majority of cases were heard and decided in lower level courts, addressing a broad range of primarily non-criminal legal issues. Finally, in the majority of non-criminal cases, the person with dementia was found to be legally capable, whereas in the majority of criminal cases, the person with dementia was found incapable.
The legal needs and rights of persons with dementia are much broader than issues of legal capacity or social protection. Deeper knowledge and more research is needed in order to fully understand the contexts in which dementia is constructed under the law.
In this article, we present a short case study based on an incident that occurred in Israel several years ago. The incident did not reach the courts but was made public by the family members of the older woman at the center of it. The family argued that the actions taken by one of the parties involved should have been defined as elder abuse, but no criminal charges were ever brought. Yet the issues concern key legal and ethical questions about law, religion, and older persons. More specifically, the incident raises the issue of the moral commitment to one's past religious beliefs in reference to one's current choices and preferences once living with dementia. We contend in this article that an Aristotelean account of human dignity would have provided the most satisfactory way to resolve the tensions created by this incident.
The legal concept of ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court) was unknown in Israeli law until 1999 when, in the course of a well-known legal decision (the Kuzli case), the Israeli Supreme Court adopted this common law concept as part of Israeli law. Almost fifteen years have elapsed since the legal precedent set in Kuzli, during which time the criteria for participation as an amicus curiae have been established.
The aim of this study was to empirically explore and analyse the ways in which the procedural institution of amicus curiae has been used and adopted under Israeli law, and the extent to which it has influenced judicial decisions. The study has used empirical methods, including the collection of quantitative data from computerised databases in Israel concerning cases in which an application to be recognised as an amicus curiae was made.
The main findings indicate that, over the last decade, the number of applications for recognition as an amicus curiae has grown steadily. Most of these applications were made by non-governmental organisations in attempting to support private individuals engaged in legal proceedings against the state or for-profit corporations. The findings reveal that the courts have approved most of these applications.